Ronnie James Dio

Chiaki Nozu/WireImage

The sad truth is heavy-metal icon Ronnie James Dio is dead.

Conspiracy Corner, Comic Con 2009 Brick

So over the weekend, why did stories insist that word of his passing was a hoax? 

Because it was. At least at first.

What happened was that on Saturday at 9:45 p.m. PST, Dio's Wikipedia page was updated to note the rocker had died that day of stomach cancer. Click here to see the revision that, as best we can tell, started it all. (It's one sentence, at the end of the first paragraph.)

About two hours later, the metal site tracked down Dio's wife/manager, Wendy. "I am at the hospital and Ronnie has NOT passed away!!!! He is not doing good, but he is not dead," Wendy Dio wrote.

Websites picked up the quote, and called hoax on the Wikipedia report.  

Then on Sunday morning, about eight hours after set things straight, Dio died.  

Given that Dio was known to be ill—his Black Sabbath alumni band, Heaven & Hell, had recently canceled summer dates due to his battle with cancer—it's possible that the erroneous Wikipedia contributor wasn't a morbid prankster, but someone jumping the gun.  

Unnecessarily so.

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Unfortunately, we've really, truly said goodbye to these stars in 2010, too.

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